The Distributed Workforce

As we move to the Honda’s roof, Kenny points out that the car is parked directly under a bottlebrush tree buzzing with scary-looking bees. For a pregnant moment, we stare at each other. Then he clambers up and does not get stung.

The inside of the car is a horror show. Goldfish crackers litter the back and an uneaten peach decomposes under the passenger seat. Again, Kenny is unperturbed. “This is nothing,” he says. “Sometimes there’s so much dog hair it’s like there’s a nest in the car.” After we’re done, we lock the car and leave.

The distributed workforce is what TaskRabbit, a company based in San Francisco, calls its online and mobile marketplace for odd jobs. The company’s founder says that thousands of people earn up to $60,000 a year by doing odd jobs, which prompted a Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter to spend a few days doing odd jobs on his own, and with a couple of pros. It’s exhausting work! But it doesn’t have to be. In San Francisco and New York, TaskRabbit is offering a program where people will stand in line to get a spot for the new iPhone for you. It’s just $55 for four hours. Enjoy your new expensive gadget!

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